Lee Pitts: Dear Clueless
An open letter to my urban brothers and sisters.
Thanks for all your ideas and laws about how we in agriculture can save endangered species, use less water and fight global warming, We must have done a great job because there hasn’t been any global warming in the last 18 years! For those of you who shivered through last winter in the chilly northeast, it seems like cows may have done too good a job in stopping global warming.
It seems unfair that we in agriculture and the other “extractive industries” should be getting all credit for reducing global temps. You urbanites should also get to enjoy the hassle, expense, regulations, paperwork and government overreach that we get to enjoy. Because I know how strongly you believe in these issues I thought I might suggest a few rules so that you too would get to participate in solving these problems instead of just being a cheerleader on the sidelines.
Henceforth, on those cold New England mornings you’ll no longer be allowed to burn wood, coal, natural gas, cow chips or pellets in your stove because they produce greenhouse gases. You’ll no longer be allowed to use any appliance or machine that uses fossil fuels that may have been produced by fracking. These activities would include driving a car, a snowmobile, taking mass transit and heating your home. You should refrain from taking any vacations that involve the use of planes, boats, trains or cars. I think we can all agree that we need to ban SUVs, ATVs and RVs. Better yet, why not ban any vehicle that has a “V” in it?
Vegetarians should no longer be allowed to eat beans because they produce methane and their uneaten zucchini is filling up our landfills. Earth Day should be permanently canceled because you environmentalists are leaving behind way too much trash and pollution.
If you really want to be green you shouldn’t live in a house or apartment that was built with lumber. Instead, you should dig up your water-wasting front lawn and build a sod house to live in, thereby also providing lodging for endangered insects and snakes. Speaking of endangered species, it’s unfair that we get to enjoy over 90% of endangered species while you in the east get just a tiny fraction of them. So take down your fences and create an urban park for bears and coyotes. We wouldn’t want to create an imbalance in the natural ecology of the urban and rural landscape, would we?
My friend Caren Cowan recently read about a book with a great way to not waste resources: EAT YOUR DOG! It turns out that dogs are worse than cows when it comes to the environment. In the book, Time To Eat Your Dog: The Real Guide To Sustainable Living, the authors said that a medium sized dog has the same negative impact on the environment as a Toyota Land Cruiser driven 6,000 miles per year. A cat is equivalent to a Volkswagen Golf. Did you know the average collie eats 365 pounds of meat per year and nearly 210 pounds of grains. All that poop that is picked up and placed in plastic bags is responsible for 4 percent of the trash that goes to landfills in San Fransciso. It also produces greenhouse gases. Chicago’s 68 million pounds of dog excrement creates 102 million cubic feet of unburned methane per year.
After eating your dog you may want to get a wolf or two as pets thereby killing two birds with one stone. (Oops, poor choice of words.)
My dear city dwellers, art history majors and radical greenies, if you want to be part of the solution and not just part of the problem, don’t just put a bumper sticker on your car, start suffering like rural folks are. If you really want to save the world eat your dog, sell your car, don’t feed the birds (birdseed includes non-native varieties), and start a ferret or prairie dog town in your yard. Adopt a red legged frog, sucker, or chub, stop having sex (it produces more people), stop eating and stop breathing because you are releasing carbon dioxide. Because, as you’ve told us many times, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that causes global warming.
Sincerely yours for a greener globe.